Case Narrative

Al Jaber Air Base

Final Report

August 31, 2001


Many veterans of the Gulf War have expressed concern that their unexplained illnesses may have resulted from their experiences in that war. In response to veterans’ concerns, the Department of Defense established a task force in June 1995 to investigate incidents and circumstances relating to possible causes. The Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses assumed responsibility for these investigations on November 12, 1996. Effective April 5, 2001, this office became the Office of the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) for Gulf War Illnesses, Medical Readiness, and Military Deployments, with continued responsibility for Gulf War issues.

Case narratives are reports of what we know today about specific events that took place during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm of 1990 and 1991. This particular case narrative focuses on several incidents during the 1st Marine Division’s efforts to capture Al Jaber air base, Kuwait. On February 24 and 25, 1991, Marines near this base were advised several times to don chemical protective equipment due to possible chemical warfare agent presence. We published an interim narrative on September 25, 1997, describing these events. Since then, the Office of the Special Assistant has received no new information that contradicts the material presented, nor have any additional leads developed to change the interim narrative’s assessments. The General Accounting Office and Presidential Special Oversight Board both reviewed the interim narrative and the Presidential Special Oversight Board recommended we republish it as a final report. However, if you believe you have information that may change this case narrative, please call:



Office of the Special Assistant
to the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) for
Gulf War Illnesses, Medical Readiness, and Military Deployments
US Department of Defense
2001134-0000002 Ver 2.0


A. Background
B. Al Jaber Before Desert Storm (pre January 16, 1991)
C. Coalition Planning and Actions
D. 1st Marine Division’s Desert Storm Organization
E. Initial Marine Ground Operations (February 24)
F. Five Chemical Alerts (Night of February 24-25)
G. Continued Attempts to Capture Al Jaber (February 25)
H. The 6:00 PM Alert (February 25)
I. The Fox Alert (February 25)
1. The Initial Alert
2. Fox Alert Procedures
3. Reporting the Fox Alert
4. Additional Testing and Attempts to Locate the Source of the Alert
5. The Fox Tape
6. Other Relevant Log Entries
J. Cleaning up Al Jaber 
K. Analysis of the Incidents 
1. Iraq’s Chemical Weapons Capabilities 
2. Fox Alert Analysis 
3. Other Attempts to Identify Chemical Warfare Agents 
TAB A - Acronyms, Abbreviations, Glossary
TAB B - Units Involved
TAB C - Bibliography
TAB D - Methodology for Investigating Chemical Warfare Incidents
TAB E - Chronology Extracts
TAB F - New Information


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